All must eat

Outside our kitchen window a rampant honeysuckle climbs a trellis, obscuring the large oil tank that sits behind it. Beyond the tank a fringe of mature conifers marks the extent of our garden and beyond them a large and untended 'field' as far as the eye can see. Delia hangs a number of bird feeders from the branches of the trees. Fascinating indeed to watch our many and varied feathered friends in action. However there's been a bit of a shadow cast over proceedings of late. A beautiful but murderous sparrow hawk has appointed our back garden as his larder.

He (yes, we consulted our British Birds and know it's a 'he') swoops with deadly intent, often succeeding in carrying off a small bird, or even sometimes striking down and de-feathering a ring dove on our little back lawn. Of course as soon as his presence is suspected all the smaller birds take refuge - and where better than in the tangled stems of the honeysuckle where they set up a terrific barrage of outraged chirping and tweeting. However this morning the hawk's initial attack proved fruitless, as did his repeated forays into the honeysuckle bush. Much wriggling and beating of wings large and small, but still he had not secured his breakfast / lunch.So he simply sat on the trellis top pending his next attack ... and his next ... and his next ...

Upset by such attempted 'murder', and defying the logic that tells us to Let Nature Be, Dee sallied forth from the kitchen. At first I actually thought the bird was going to remain right where he was in spite of her close, hand clapping presence, but at last he took off over the field, those scimitar wings propelling him in a trice from nought to (forty ?). Drama over, the small birds stopped their chirping and we got on with what we had been doing (Christmas card making, actually). The peace and quiet did not last for long. The sparrowhawk came in again on our honeysuckle like a kamikaze warplane. But still no joy for him. And still he sits and waits up there on the trellis ...

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